Leaving the City of Clyster behind, the party make passage south aboard the Crimson Maiden, trading cog and sturdy wooden ship commanded by Captain Vasilvio and his crew of rogueish sailors. 2 weeks of careful progress south, avoiding ice floes and storms finally saw the captain heave the ship to into a cove and await a lantern signal from the shore. A mysterious figure was rowed back who revealed himself to be Galen, warlock and one time adventuring companion of the group. A mission within enemy territory had seen Galen gather important details about which of Grissaille’s lords would consider siding with Baron Aldred and bringing the civil war to a swifter conclusion, before the Duke Grissaille could return from the continent with a freshly raised army to continue the civil war and drag the conflict into another year of military campaigns, bloodshed and misery for the populace.
South the ship travelled, now the party numbered 5 again, and the group made good friends and comrades amongst the ships crew – Soupy the cook, Tom, Old Tom, Salty Pete amongst others would share stories and teach the group how to tie knots or stow sails in return for tales of the party’s adventures.
It was another few days of southward travel before a ship was sighted, a sleek, long hulled reaver’s craft gliding low in the water that caught the trading cog up swiftly. Not just pirates, which would have been bad enough on its own, but a dread ship of undead reavers was revealed, the captain of the deathless crew challenged the adventurers to a contest of rhyme, the prize of which was to keep their souls and avoid death at the hands of the blue men or beneath the sea.
The contest won, Ronin looked Westward to the shore, as the ship continued southwards and came close to the large city of Ongus and his ancestral manor house. Curiosity and anger burned in his veins at the injustice served upon his father’s lands by the Duke Grisaille and he wanted to see if his mentor and companion from the crusades Sir McCallet still lived, so he asked the party if they would accompany him ashore on a short journey and enquired if the captain could spare him a 2 day wait for the expedition.
Travelling inland by paths less travelled the group managed to avoid local militia or patrols until they arrived at the treeline overlooking the manor, only to see it being looted by some soldiers in the livery of Lord Somet, one of Grissaile’s loyal vassal knights and a cruel and merciless soldier who Ronin knew from his time in the crusades. Using illusory magic suggested by the crafty warlock Galen, the party approached to within metres before one of the spells expired and a short and brutal combat was resolved with the blunt and brutish soldiers. Four of their number including their leader were slain in short order and the remaining eight were shown mercy and given leave to retreat.
Ronin spoke with Galfrid, the warden and seneschal of the manor house, an elderly but loyal manservant who had served the manor since his father’s days, and has planned to get a message to Sir McCallet to try and make further contact in Criggen Varras if at all possible, and to try and defend the lands until such time as Baron Aldred can claim the throne and reward those knights who would throw their strength behind his banner. For saving the manor from being looted, disposing of the imminent attack by Somet’s soldiers and risking discovery Ronin has been rewarded with yet another legendary magical item – The Helm of the Sea – an heirloom discovered by his adventuring father in years gone by.
The group made haste on the 4 captured horses back to the ship, in good time and continued their journey south, towards and around the southern cape of the Isles of Ellesland, and swung round northwards, this time passing the lands of the Earl Montombre on their starboard side.
Having travelled now for 6 weeks out of the estimated 8 week journey, land was sighted, 2 tall pinnacles of rock stood jutting from the storm wracked and rain spattered seas. The sharp eyed amongst the crew could see distant winged shapes rise up from their eyries and plunge to attack the ship- Harpies swooped over the decks and attempted to claw or grab anyone unfortunate in their path. Brion and Corvin lashed themselves to the Capstan and Mast respectively, to see off the enemies crafty attacks, but not so fortunate for one of the crew and captain Vasilvio himself. Several harpies were slain with bowfire, raised swords or crackling magical energy but the two victims were seen to be carried off, struggling and writhing in the claws of the harpies up to the tall natural rock towers….to be slain? eaten? fed to the harpies young? who knows, but a rescue is planned and the crew swing the ship towards the needles of rock, it will be a dangerous task to bring the ship in close to the rocks and climb the spray soaked, barnacle and kelp covered rocks, but the lives of their friends hang in the balance!